Tsunami affected reefs slow to recover

Coral reefs in areas affected by the catastrophic tsunami in December have been slow to recover from the damage experts have said.

According to a report from Reuters, coral damage has not been that bad but many reefs are still strewn with debris including metal and matresses, as well as lots of sediment.

The Andaman and Nicobar islands, which harbour hundreds of species of coral, have been particularly hard hit by silt deposits.

Niphon Phongsuwan, a marine biologist based in Phuket told Reuters: \"Getting rid of sediment is not easy, but monsoon storms and currents can really help remove it.\"

DV Rao of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) told Reuters: \"Corals grow very slowly and many species suffered a blow on \'Black Sunday\'. It will take them hundreds of years to acquire normal size again.\"

Others who have surveyed the reefs say that the damage has been insignificant in places.

James Conley of the UK\'s Coral Cay Conservation group has completed a study of the Simian islands and told Reuters that the overall damage has not been that great at the archipelago level: \"Human disturbance from before has left far greater damage than the tsunami. The tsunami was the worst nature could have thrown at the reefs, but they have bounced back.\"